Virtual Mechanic

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Car and bike questions? We have the answers

I want to buy a new SUV and have to choose between the Tata Safari Dicor LX and Chevrolet Tavera B3 seven-seater. Which is a better deal in the long run, say five years as regards to fuel economy (with AC in both city and highway), maintenance, engine performance and AC/heater performance? The Safari Dicor has more attractive features than the Tavera but I'm concerned about the above factors. Surinder, via emailBetween the two, we feel that the Tavera is a better vehicle for your requirement because it is more fuel-efficient and much more reliable. Maintenance on the Tavera will be lower too. Yes, the Safari has much more appeal than the Tavera thanks to its size, styling and interiors. Remember that both cars are due for a facelift later this year and hence the resale value may take a hit. However, for a five-year period, we feel the Tavera will depreciate less. My Tata Indica Turbo has a very bumpy ride. Is it because the wheels have been upgraded to 14-inchers without any adjustment to the suspension set-up? If so, will switching over to alloys and tubeless tyres improve ride quality? Aakash Agarwal, via emailYes, the 14-inch wheels and hence lower profile tyres are partly responsible for the harsh ride. Switching to tubeless tyres, which we recommend you fit on alloys, could soften the ride a bit. However, the Indica's suspension is a bit clunky as well and this also plays a role in the unsatisfactory ride quality.With a budget of Rs 5 lakh, which diesel car should I buy? I believe a number of diesel cars are to be launched in the coming months. I have driven around 25,000km in the past year. I'm not a Tata fan and am not keen on buying an Indica Turbo. Being 6.2-feet tall, I need a spacious car. Please advise. Ram Prashanth, via emailGo for is the recently-launched Maruti Swift Diesel. We find that the driving position is comfortable for tall drivers, but the passenger behind you may have to compromise on the legroom available to him.write to us at




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